This past week Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of diagnostics company Theranos, addressed 100 women in technology at the U.S. Department of State’s TechWomen initiative.
According to the Fortune article on the event, Holmes used the spotlight to launch a new Twitter campaign, called #IronSisters, and to call on every woman in the room to commit to helping 100 other women upon return to their home countries.
Her inspiration? None other than the Iron Lady herself—one of Britain’s most polarizing figures, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“Every time you see a glass ceiling there’s an ‘iron woman’ underneath it,” Holmes told the women in the room. “We’ve created a hashtag, and we’re going to start tweeting. And you all are my first 100 ‘Iron Sisters.’”
And the movement has begun. Search for the hashtag and you’ll already find people spreading the excitement:
We’re on board with this global initiative, ladies! “In order to succeed, women must help other women.” #IronSisters
@leveragehacker So anyway, I’m doing this thing with @eholmes2003 about encouraging girls in tech/STEM/etc #IronSisters.
But why is this campaign important?
People are aware of the need for more women in tech and in leadership positions. The studies have proven the fact that women in leadership positions take companies to new heights both on the top and bottom lines but little has changed. It is time for action.
In a recent article by Denise Terry, she shares even more information about how the changes can come about:
The people who will change the ratio for women will be us women. It’s time for us to be the solution we’ve been looking for. While men can collaborate with us as partners, co-founders, investors and family members, they will not be our saviors. If you are an entrepreneur, an investor, an engineer, a mother with a daughter, a teacher in STEM or a woman who wants to change the status quo, join me and the thousands of women in tech who need your support. by supporting, helping, mentoring and investing in women in tech.
Gone are the days of waiting for a knight in shining armor to make everything alright. We have to pick up the gauntlet and lead the charge ourselves.
Join the #IronSisters movement – start right in your own department. Spread the word, get involved and make a difference.
In the Huntington Post article sharing the news of this exciting #IronSisters campaign, Elizabeth Holmes lights the torch with this rally cry:
In order to succeed, women must help other women. We know that we will face setbacks along the way, and there will be no shortage of critics who want us to fail. But we will always encourage each other to get back to our feet and to keep moving forward. As our success grows, so too will the challenges we face, as those who benefit from the status quo mount resistance to change. But together, Iron Sisters, we can and will support each other as we build new businesses and make new discoveries that will revolutionize the world.
Glass ceilings will be shattered. And, someday, a group of little girls sitting in a classroom will be asked who among them wants to grow up to lead in a business in a STEM field — and many hands will reach for the sky.
- Women in Leadership Ask Tough Questions
- Is There an Age Limit for Women in Tech?
- Connect with Like-Minded Professionals
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
Don’t miss our online resources library for eCourses, online discussions, downloads, retreats and tools for professional women. Learn more here.